No Residue by Samantha Samakande

I have always known
that before I shed
my mother’s body,

                I was planned,
                waited for.

I flirt
with this knowing,
let it irrigate me

                from the inside out, let it
                drift in my hallways
                unpinnable but crisp,

what it means to be
shamelessly permanent.

                Still, when I slip
                out of bed I want it,
                that pop,

that blink,
that quiet dissolve,
that immediate

                oblivion bubbles do.
                I want it neat,
                I want no residue,

but I will loiter in the sacks
of my father’s lungs,
kink up my mother’s gut,

                gouge a pit ravenous
                as a tapeworm, crust over
                my husband’s lips, another stale

husk of skin between him
and the lovers who will sip
him after I am finished—

                brand them all,
                stubborn as girlhood
                scrapes on knees.

When I leave
it will not be clean.


Samantha Samakande is a Zimbabwean poet currently based out of Bloomfield, NJ where she resides with her husband. She is a graduate of Allegheny College and is an Editor for F(r)iction. Her work has appeared in The South Florida Poetry Journal, Sugar House Review, Pif Magazine, The Indianapolis Review, and Gordon Square Review, among others. In 2020, she was the second-place winner of Frontier Poetry’s Award for New Poets.

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